Wednesday, October 11, 2006

adoption in the ME

edit: this is a long ass post! ;) i was in a rambling mood today, obviously. what do you expect when it's ramadan and i'm bored stiff!? hope it makes you think though.

Seems like Madonna is the latest celebrity, as of late, to get on the adoption bandwagon. After reading a few reports, looks like she's adopted a boy from a very poor African village. Some reports are saying that she and her husband, Guy Richie, have had problems because he didn't wan't to adopt, but seeing the way Madonna is, I'm sure nothing would stop her. Ppl are saying that she's done this to look good because Angelina Jolie is so widely popular for adopting children from poor nations and for her humanitarian work, and since Meg Ryan has recently done the same - but I think her child is from an Asian country, if I'm not mistaken - I guess Madonna wants to look like the good samaritan and do her part for humanity.

I've always really liked Madonna - except for that time in her life when she went thru that crazy Sex period - and always thought she was a smart woman, so I'm just hoping she did this for the right reasons. I know she's at the age where it would be risky for her to become pregnant, so I always assumed that that was the reason behind her adopting... but reports are saying otherwise... but ppl love to gossip and create stories, it seems.

Which brings me to the point of adoption. Years ago, I decided to never have kids and thought if the desire ever hit me, I would adopt instead. Plus, there was a part of me that didn't like babies and little kids... so you can see why adopting would be a cool idea, because you could go for an older kid as well, which so many ppl don't want. But as I got older, started working w/ lots of different men and women, I started meeting ppl who had been adopted, and I realized that many of them had major issues surrounding their adoption cases, meeting their birth parents, and just problems in general from being adopted. And, sometimes, on the tube you'd see horror stories of families adopting little kids and the kids would turn out to be truly evil and such. So... this sorta put a damper on my adoption ideas... or at least w/ adopting an older child.

Obviously all of these thoughts and ideas came before I got married. It was after working thru my own issues for years, learning to trust and wanting companionship, meeting someone that finally touched my heart, and being able to trust love... well, that is when getting married and the thoughts, feelings or even the idea of having kids started appearing in my mind.

Really, in looking back at it, I thought I'd never want kids, plus w/ so many kids in orphanages and such, and needing homes, it seemed senseless to have children. But after marrying my husband and moving to Bahrain, my views have changed... but not w/out the enormous, constant, every increasing, pounding pressure from the in-laws, and everyone else who felt the need to get involved in our lives - which seems to be every tom, dick and harry, to have little rugrats... but that's a whole nother story!

Anyway... where was I.... oh yes, adoption.

There are orphanages here in Bahrain... and there are tons of kids that could use a good home, but ppl don't adopt. I've never understood the logic behind it really... there are so many women here, I know a few myself, that can't have children but desperately want children - one woman, in particular, stands out in my mind. She's had 13 miscarriages and her dr. told her that she'd never be able to conceive... so wouldn't adoption be the natural alternative? I think it's a great idea... but it's never been something that I've heard her speak of, nor anyone else for that matter.

You don't hear about adoption in this part of the world.... ppl don't speak of it... or the ppl that I've been around. There are so many issues surrounding this topic, I guess that's why. But you know, what about the women who are older and not married as of yet? What about if they get married later in life and want children... wouldn't that be a natural course of action - to adopt?

This is what I know about adoption in this part of the world. You have kids that would come in the home but not be part of the family, so the females in the family would never be able to be themselves and not cover, if they covered. Then it gets into property and inheritance and such after the father passes... for the orphaned/adopted child is never considered to be a true part of the family here so that child would never be eligible for any inheritance and such from the family, nor would they be allowed to own any property and such that is passed down from this family. Am I right w/ this? I have limited knowledge on such w/ respect to the ME.

In the States, families get on huge waiting lists to adopt children. Many families adopt inter-racial children because of their love and need for a child. And once the child is adopted, the child is a true part of the family. He/she takes on the name of the family and is, from that point forward, a son/daughter, brother/sister, niece/nephew, etc. to all in the family. When the father/mother passes on, that child inherits what any other part of the family would inherit and such... w/ no one ever blinking an eye and saying "oh but he/she was adopted and they don't deserve such".

I know the adoption process entails much more here or so I'm assuming... adoption is probably not done for religious reasons as well... but I don't understand it all, and I don't understand this logic and part of the culture here... when it doesn't allow for children, who are need of loving families, to be adopted. It just doesn't make sense to me. It actually seems quite cruel, to be honest. When there are so many children in need of homes... it just seems somewhat barbaric in that a faith/religion/govt wouldn't push for the children w/ no one, no families to be accepted by the masses.

There's a children's home right around the corner from my office... I sometimes wonder about these kids. I think about what they do, what activities they have, do they long for a mother and father, are they happy, will they succeed in life..... but you know, I never see them outside. Sometimes I see things in the paper about money being given or educations being paid for and such, but that's about it. But in thinking about it, I'm not sure that it's for these orphan kids.

Seems there's somewhat of a stigma attached to these children and even special needs kids in this part of the world. They seem like a group that society has forgotten about or shunned even. Maybe I just don't know enough about this topic, but one thing I do know is that ppl don't adopt here, and I don't understand it.

For instance... there is this child that I read about in the paper recently that has been left in this country by his mother and father. He's 10 yrs. old and has never been to school. He has no papers (passport, etc.) and isn't Bahraini. Actually he is w/out country, from what I read. He has just now been registered for classes and from all accounts, is doing well. He was scared at first but now seems to be adjusting. So basically.. this young boy was left here by his Sri Lankan housemaid mother after she left Bahrain and returned to her native country. The boy's father isn't in Bahrain, I think he's Indian, and the little boy has been raised by an aunt or someone from the family, I think... but they can't really afford the child. And instead of someone stepping in and helping to raise this child or adopting him... he has been made to suffer. He is 10 yrs old and is only now going to school. Why is this child and his plight only now being talked about? What's happened for the past 10 years? Apparently, the family doesn't have enough money for books and such, so there was a plea in the paper to donate funds to help out....

I wonder how many ppl will do this - help out? How many ppl donate time and money to these kids that have nothing? It's Ramadan now... a time to reflect and give... but does anyone think of these kids?

Are other countries in the ME like this? Does adoption take place anywhere else? Is there a stigma attached to it in all countries over here or is just some countries? I'd be interested in hearing your views and knowledge on this topic.


Anonymous said...

long ass.

tooners said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tooners said...

anon, it tires me to even reread it... hopefully i'll come out from underneath the bored blanket soon enough.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Okay, it's a long post and I really skipped over it but you raise an interesting question or more.

Adoption has changed a lot in Australia over fifty years because earlier on the stigma attached to a gal 'in trouble' often meant they baby was taken off her and adopted to strangers. That has caused enormous pain for the girl as she wondered what happened to her child. These days gals just keep their babies as the government is generous in welfare in this situation.

One very personal question to you though - don't you feel the maternal instinct to have kids of your own? Kids who smile back at you and even look like you or your mum or dad or cousins? Kids can give you such joy - okay, and sometimes there is the heartache too if they are mischievous and even worse! My kids and grandkids are so important to me. Come first always!

Okay, that's my rant on the subject!

Olivia said...

I just read it fast. I'm obviously getting used to processing lots of text now.

Actually if you thnk about it, it is really the westerners who are open to taking other people's children. I think there are too many cultural/religious barriers in other nations.

Leilouta said...


A coworker of mine just flew back from Ecuador last Monday with her adopted child. It took them a long time for the arrangements She is very excited and happy. She is off on maternity leave now .I admire people who adopt children in need.

tooners said...

W, yes, most definitely i feel that urge... that's what prompted me to write the post... because in it i state the way i used to feel versus how i feel today and it has direct relation to what's going on in my life right at this minute, matter of fact. :) i think that long ago, in the states, there was also this stigma attached to adoption, giving your child up and so on. i think adoption is a good thing for those who want it and only wish that more ppl did it in this part of the world.

olivia, sadly, things are so different in this part of the world. maybe one day it'll all change.

leilouta, how wonderful! i think it's really great that ppl adopt children from these countries as well. it's good that ppl have such open minds and hearts.

jahooni said...

ya know, sometimes I wish I was an orphan at some far away place,,,, because all the rich Americans love to adopt those children. Don't they realize there are children here for adoption?

Puppy said...

Hmmm it is actually strange that ppl in the east, ME are not into adoption, i even heard few cases here that man divorce his wife just because they cant have kids, well... may be it was arranged marriage and there were no love, but still its wrong.
I dont think there is something connected to religion because i believe that Islam is very polite, intelligent, merciful religion orientated on helping people (poor, homeless and all others who need help), which actually brings me to thinking out of curiousity to know what is an average amount of kids end up in orphanage, I mean a percentage of all orphans to population in the city/country. So if we will divide total kids in orphanage to the total population of the same city/country with a small adjustment of the kids on the street, I wonder where the figure will be higher? STATES ? EUROPE ? Or MIDDLE EAST? I really don’t know. Who knows?

Anonymous said...


It's been a while since you posted this, so I don't know if you'll even get this comment...but just in case...

I am an american teaching here in Bahrain, and I was wondering if you know anything about volunteering at the orphanages..or even how to FIND orphanages. I couldn't find anything on the internet. Any ideas?